'Sometimes life doesn’t afford proper goodbyes'
Fanbois and the poledancing girlfriend of Edward Snowden bemoan losses
QuotW American spooks are watching everything you do - but don't worry about that too much, here comes a nice new iOS design. That was pretty much the message of the week in tech, when the world woke up to an online surveillance programme that made Big Brother look like a little sissy, while fanbois mulled the end of iPhones as they knew (and loved) them.
Edward Snowden, an unassuming techie who happened to work for US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, leaked details of a creepy surveillance scheme called PRISM and then fled to Hong Kong. This week he gave interviews from his hotel hideaway before promptly disappearing again.
During the resulting hoo-hah, we found out that the PRISM logo looks a lot like a photo taken by the father of Reg contributor Damon Hart-Davis, who wrote:
"The NSA may have set aside a paltry annual budget of $20m for its internet-data hoovering program (we're doomed, doomed, I tell you), but that didn't stretch as far as bunging over some loose change for using my dad's prism photo for its creepy PRISM logo: the original image is hosted on my online gallery for free-to-use pics, although there are caveats (such as a requirement to credit and link to us).
On the other hand, I'm not convinced we really want a picture credit.I am considering finding a bean-counter at the NSA and asking if he or she could scape together a small donation (which larger organisations often do, generously, in lieu of a fee), although I wonder if all my sites and activities would experience, ahem, enhanced scrutiny for a little while."
So what does his girlfriend - who just happens to be a exhibitionist pole dancer who loves posting semi-naked pictures on her blog (now sadly deleted) - think about her man's decision? We found out:
"As I type this on my tear-streaked keyboard I’m reflecting on all the faces that have graced my path. The ones I laughed with. The ones I’ve held. The one I’ve grown to love the most. And the ones I never got to bid adieu. But sometimes life doesn’t afford proper goodbyes."
We're sure that's pretty much the same emotion experienced by fanbois across the world, who were told on Monday that iOS 7 would do away with skeumorphic flourishes in favour of a "flat" design. What this actually means is a load of bewildering icons, swimming in a pastel soup. Here's what our Andrew Orlowski had to say about Jonathan Ive's first attempt at iOS software.
"Instead of waking up to some ambitious new vision from Apple, we're waking up to a company that looks alarmingly like the Apple of 1987. Awash with cash, incredibly smug, and with key figures rampaging, like Godzilla, all over the landscape."
Don't get him started on their "me too", jonny-come-lately streaming music service iRadio.
As well as withstanding El Reg's withering blast, Apple has also been in court facing down accusations it tried to fix the prices of ebooks. Attorneys have been picking over emails sent by the late, great Steve Jobs, for whom no true replacement has been found – until now. Step forward Kanye West, who is
some nobody's American socialite Kim Kashardian's boyfriend and a rapper famed for interrupting award speeches when the results don't go his way. He said, about himself:
"I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z."
This week also saw The Sun make the best apology this Reg hack has ever seen. Under the headline "Aliens: An Apology", the red top wrote:
"In an article on Saturday headlined ‘Flying saucers over British Scientology HQ’, we stated “two flat silver discs” were seen “above the Church of Scientology HQ”.
"Following a letter from lawyers for the Church, we apologise to any alien lifeforms for linking them to Scientologists."
The world also discovered that Lego characters were getting angrier, according to research that showed the number of unhappy faces on the little brick men is on the increase.
"We cannot help but wonder how the move from only positive faces to an increasing number of negative faces impacts how children play," said Christopher Bartneck, of New Zealand's University of Canterbury.
Anyone looking to use hashtags on Facebook - one of the more annoying habits of the many annoying people who use the social network - is now in luck, as Zuckerberg's advertising empire has nicked them off Twitter. We're undecided what to call Facebook's hashtags and have suggested cashtags, spafftags or even bitchtags. Here's what Facebook said:
"To date, there has not been a simple way to see the larger view of what's happening or what people are talking about. To bring these conversations more to the forefront, we will be rolling out a series of features that surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people, and topics. As a first step, we are beginning to roll out hashtags on Facebook."
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